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Are Hiking Boots For Dogs Necessary? Dog Lover Guide 

Are hiking boots for dogs necessary? …

I’m sure this question lingers in your mind if you are a dog owner and love hiking, as you love to include your furry friend in some of your hiking adventures. 

As you pack all the equipment and best hiking boots for your hiking adventures, you sit and wonder, does your canine companion need hiking boots also? 

I LOVE dogs!  I also have many friends who have fur kids!

They are most certainly part of your family, and I would never want to leave them at home and go along my happy trails. 

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

But I have wondered if hiking boots are good for their little itty bitty feet!

As a dog owner, I’m sure you’ve been through this dilemma. 

If you can relate and you want to know if hiking boots for dogs are necessary, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dog boots and whether or not you should put a pair on your furry friend the next time you hit the trails.

This article will clear your thoughts so you aren’t left wondering if hiking boots for dogs are necessary.

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Now for the answer to the main question of are hiking boots necessary for dogs – well, IT DEPENDS! Some of the factors to consider include:

  • Should Dogs Wear Shoes When Hiking?
  • Pros Of Dog Shoes For Hiking
  • Cons Of Dog Shoes For Hiking
  • Is Hiking Good For Dogs?
  • Dog Shoes Vs Dog Booties – What’s The Difference
  • Product Recommendations
  1. Hot, Desert, Extreme Heat
  2. Snow, Ice, Extreme Cold
  3. Sharp Rocks, Rocky Terrain
  • Tips For Getting Your Dog To Wear Hiking Boots
  • How To Choose The Right Dog Shoe For Hiking?
  •  Are There Any Dog Breeds That Need Booties More Than Others?
  •  Alternative For Hiking Boots – Paw Wax

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Should Dogs Wear Shoes When Hiking

Let’s talk about the main reason you are reading this article. Should dogs wear shoes when hiking? 

Based on my experience and my other close buddy’s experience, after several hikes with their furry friend, I realized dogs are perfectly fine without hiking boots.

They do put hiking boots on their dogs if the terrain that they are going to trek on is icy, hot, or rocky, 

This is because, during extreme weather, dogs need hiking boots to protect their paws from getting burns or blisters. 

So, the answer to the question depends. But mostly NO. Only under certain circumstances will they require foot protection.

Pros Of Dog Shoes For Hiking

There are pros and cons in everything. Similar to hiking boots for dogs. It’s not a fashion statement that is being claimed by many others. 

They provide benefits for your furry friend when embarking on outdoor adventures.

Below are some key benefits of hiking boots for dogs. 

1. Injury Prevention

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Getting your dogs a pair of hiking boots is a form of protection that provides them stability and support. 

It will prevent them from experiencing sprained ankles or strained ligaments.

This is because dog walking boots have a grip that provides traction on slippery surfaces, preventing slips and falls. 

Furthermore, they also safeguard your canine companion’s paws from hazards and maintain their comfort in various weather conditions. 

Such as cold, snow, or hot, and contribute to injury prevention. 

2. Allergies

If your furry companion has allergies, hiking boots for dogs will protect their paws.  

When your furry friend is allergic to grass, hiking boots will protect their paws from having direct contact irritation from grass and weeds. 

3. Weatherproofing And Temperature Control

Weatherproofing and temperature control features are other plus points of hiking boots. 

If you are bringing along your pup to extreme weather, dog shoes for hiking are crucial. 

This feature is vital. 

It will ensure that the paws of your dog are dry and warm in wet or cold conditions and that your dog can comfortably endure various climates during the hike. 

4. Comfort

Still unsure: are hiking boots necessary, or are hiking shoes necessary? 

Let me give you an example. As we know, spending all day on our feet can be tiring for humans; the same goes for dogs. They do feel tired. 

This is why dog hiking boots are important to reduce the soreness on the feet offered by the padding.

5. Protection From Rough Terrain

When you are going for a rough terrain hike, get your fur buddy a pair of hiking boots. 

Having them put on hiking boots acts as a protective layer between their paws and rough and uneven surfaces during the hike. 

Thorns, splinters, and sharp rocks can cause painful cuts or scratches. 

Thus, hiking shoes for dogs act as a barrier, preventing injuries and discomfort during hikes or any outdoor activities that your fur buddy participates in. 

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Cons Of Dog Shoes For Hiking

Above are the benefits of using hiking boots, but there are also cons to using hiking boots. 

1. Trouble Walking

If you get them the wrong size of shoes, they will have difficulty walking. And if your dog doesn’t feel comfortable wearing them, they will try to kick them off. 

2. Some Dogs Will Pull Them Off

Not every pup can adapt to wearing hiking boots. Some dogs are just against it. 

If your pup doesn’t like to dress up, even a dog collar irritates them, or they don’t like their paw being touched, then hiking boots might not be a suitable dog product.

3. Difficult to Adapt

Getting your pup to adapt or be comfortable with hiking boots is a challenge. 

Most dogs are against it as they find it extremely uncomfortable as it makes their paws heavier and restricts their movements. 

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Is Hiking Good For Dogs?

While thinking, ‘Are hiking boots for dogs necessary?’, you might ponder whether hiking is good for dogs. 

From my personal experience with their furry buddy, dogs enjoy hiking. And I have seen hikers bring along their furry buddies as well. 

You can see they love hiking, following their owner at the back while whacking their tail. 

So, is hiking good for dogs? The answer is yes. It is both physically and mentally healthy for dogs. Below are some benefits it brings to your dog. 

1. Staying Fit

As we all know, exercise is important to stay fit. Same as pups. Hiking is the best way to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. 

Hiking requires jumping over streams and climbing on rocks, making it a great workout. 

2. Mental Stimulation

No one likes to be stuck at home between our four walls. It applies to both humans and dogs. This is why exercise is important, as it helps with mental stimulation. 

While hiking, you get to see new sights and bump into new dogs and people, which is so exciting rather than being at home. 

Besides, the less bored your dog is, the less he is to act up at home. So take your dog out for a walk or hike, as it is important for mental health. 

3. Stronger Bonds

Going hiking with your furry companion also helps in developing stronger bonds. 

As you spend more time and energy with them, eventually, it will help to create stronger bonds. 

4. Dog Shoes Vs Dog Booties – What’s The Difference

As you are halfway through the article and have looked at some of the pros and cons of putting shoes on dogs during hikes. 

But you might be wondering what’s the difference between doggie shoes and boots as these terms are being used mutually. 

Thus, it is hard to differentiate the difference between these two, especially if you are a newbie. 

Let’s dive in and talk about the difference between doggie shoes and boots.

Dog Shoes 

  • Soft-soled footwear designed to offer protection and support to your dog’s paws.
  • Safe for walking on various surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete.
  • Not suitable to use for hiking. 

Dog Boots

  • Hard-soled footwear with a more sturdy design to withstand rough terrains. 
  • They provide more support and protection compared to dog shoes.
  • Usually waterproof. Thus, protects dog paws from snow and other wet conditions.

Product Recommendations

Tips: Never leave dog booties on your dog paws 24/7. This is because dog’s paws can sweat. 

When they sweat, they will become moist, and this will lead to them having blisters. 

You will need to ensure that you check their paws after removing those hiking boots. This is to ensure that they are doing fine and there’s no blister. 

Below are some product recommendations for hiking boots according to the types of hikes. 

Hot, Desert, Extreme Heat

If your next adventure is somewhere hot, which is not an ideal place for dogs, it’s better to get them hiking boots. 

Hiking boots will protect them from burning their paws on hot surfaces but also prevent sand from getting caught between pads, which can be irritating.  

Puzzled about which hiking boots to get for your furry companion? Fret not! I got you covered. 

Pawz Natural Rubber Dog Boots are the best option for simplicity and the best dog boots for desert. I vouch for that. 

It is made from rubber; thus, it is waterproof and durable. 

You can use it to cover an injured pad, cross the hot pavement, or protect sensitive paws during a walk.

Favorite Features: 

  • Inexpensive. This product is one of the cheapest in the market if you are looking for something that will not burn a hole in your pocket. 
  • Easy to carry along. As it is made of 100% rubber, you can easily carry it along. You can put it in your pockets as well when you go on a hike. 
  • Each pack comes with 12 pieces. You can always have a spare while going for a hike or walk with your furry friend. 
  • Lightweight. The lightweight feature will surely make your furry friend comfortable. 
  • Come in 6 sizes, which is great as you can get the right size for your furry companion. 

Room For Improvement

  • Not suitable for rocky or rough terrain because it is made of rubber and can easily get holes from the stones during the hike. 
  • Need to keep your dog’s nail short; otherwise, it will poke through the rubber.
  • Can be a bit hard to put on at the beginning.
are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Snow, Ice, Extreme Cold

If you are planning to hike to a snowy place with extremely cold temperatures, it is recommended to put hiking boots on your loyal companion.

This is to prevent snow from getting packed in between your dog’s toes, which can cause painful cold burns. 

Fact: When the temperature is closer to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, ice forming between the paws is more likely to happen

Besides, good hiking boots are slip-resistant. Thus, it will protect your dog’s ankles from injury if there is slick ice.

Below is one of the best hiking boots for snowy and cold hikes and the best waterproof dog walking boots. 

Ruffwear’s Grip TREX is one of the top hiking boots. It is also one of the most comfortable dog boots on the market. 

No matter how serious the adventure ahead, these hiking boots will keep your furry companion paws safe. 

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Favorite Features: 

  • Best treads to provide superb traction on all terrain. 
  • Have 3 colors for you to choose from.
  • Comes in 8 different sizes so that you can get the best fit for your pup. 
  • Can purchase them in sets of 2 or 4 for the best fit.
  • Excellent traction. This will provide the best grip during hikes and prevent your furry companion from slipping. 
  • Durable. This particular hiking boots is made of durable material and can withstand tough terrains. 
  • Breathable. This feature is important to keep dirt out and make sure your dog is comfortable and has proper ventilation.
  • Machine washable. This is great as you can clean them easily after every hike.

Room For Improvement

  • Bulky top. It easily slips off and can be uncomfortable for your furry friend.

Sharp Rocks, Rocky Terrain

The next adventure is somewhere with sharp rocks and rocky terrain. 

This kind of terrain can be painful to your companion’s paws. It can result in swelling and blisters. 

I would recommend you get hiking boots for your pup before starting your adventure.

Hurtta Outback Dog Boots is the best option for your next rocky terrain adventure.

Favorite Features: 

  • There’s an inside tag, which will make it easier for you to tell which boot goes on which paw. Cool right! 
  • There’s a place for you to write your phone number in case the hiking boots get lost.
  • Comes in 5 different sizes so that you can get the best fit for your furry companion.

Room For Improvement

  • The single strap can be tricky to wrap
are hiking boots for dogs necessary

Tips For Getting Your Dog To Wear Hiking Boots

It hurts when we see our pets are in pain or getting hurt. As an animal lover, I vouched for that. 

According to a close friend, it was such a task at the beginning since there’s nothing natural about it. But with all the tips she learned along the process, it’s all good now. 

Below are some tips for you in getting Fido used to their new gear. 

Firstly, before introducing this near gear to them, ensure that they are comfortable with you handling their paws. 

If they are not comfortable with you handling their paws, work on that first. 

Start touching and holding one foot at a time until your best friend feels relaxed. 

You can also rub, tap, and squeeze their paws gently to get them used and familiar with the feeling. 

After they are comfortable with you touching their paws, it’s time for the second step.

It’s time to introduce the boots to them. You might be thinking about how I should introduce this new gear to them. 

You can start by showing them the boots. Just show. Do not try to put them on them. 

Instead, let them come close, sniff the boots, and get near to it themselves. 

You can place the boots near their food, bed, or their play area. This helps to create a positive association with their boots. 

Once they develop a positive association with their boots, you can reward them with their favorite treat. 

This process will take a few days. Just be patient and do not force your pup to wear the boots. It will instantly create a negative perception. 

Once your pup feels relaxed being around their boots and there’s positive feedback from their reaction, you can move on to the third step. 

The third step is to try to put a single boot on your furry friend’s paw. 

Start slow. Just used one boot at a time. Slip it in quickly, and let your dog wear it for a couple of seconds only. 

Remove it and pet them. Continue the process until you are confident that your dog forgot about the boots altogether.

And then you can slowly increase the number of booties

As stated earlier, start with one and then increase to two, then three, and then four. Do it gradually.

You can be impatient during the process, but this is the fastest way to get your pup to wear the booties.

During this process, you need to reward your dog when they walk with them.  

Remember, dogs can be very dramatic during this process. 

Once they have all their boots on and they are relaxed about it, it’s time you are waiting for them. 

It’s time to play inside! Play with them indoors first.  It is an entirely new experience for your pup. 

Stay calm and composed, as you do not want them to flop over and refuse to walk (veterinarians refer to this as “bootie paralysis”).

They might take some time to even walk on a flat surface. So start with the indoors and then move to the outdoors. 

Note: At the beginning, their walks might be funny. Do not panic or laugh. Practice these steps when you are not in a rush. 

This process will require lots of patience and time at the beginning. 

Here are the tips for getting your dog to wear hiking boots. These were the exact steps that my friend followed to make their furry companion wear boots. All the best! 

are hiking boots for dogs necessary

How To Choose The Right Dog Shoe For Hiking?

At this point, the question of are hiking boots for dogs necessary is being cleared, and you decide to get a pair of hiking boots for your pup; remember a good fit is super important. 

When choosing dog boots, look for the following factors to get the best pair for your furry companion. 

1. Flexibility

To get a good fit for boots, flexibility is one of the features you need to look into. One of the tips is to pick boots with a Velcro strap. 

This is because you can adjust the boots easily, which will result in the perfect fit of the boots.

Nowadays, many boots offer different sizing options. So you can measure your dog’s paws first and then get the right pair for them. 

This step is crucial as it is the first step in getting the best hiking boots for dogs. 

2. Strong Grip

If you are planning to take your pup on a hiking adventure and planning to get them a pair of hiking boots, make sure the boots have strong grips to prevent them from slipping during the hike. 

Hiking dog boots need to have a strong grip. Do not close an eye on this feature. 

The tip is to get shoes with textured soles. If the bottom is smooth, it’ll be difficult for your dog to walk as there will not be any grip. 

Strong grips are not only important on ice surfaces but also on steep hikes or slippery hikes. 

3. Weight

Like human shoes, when the shoes are heavy, we need to use more energy when walking. The same goes for dog boots. 

The lighter it is, the better.  As the saying goes, happy feet, happy life.

Commonly, dog boots are lightweight. But if your dog has some health issues like joint pain, it’s better to find lighter boots. T

Water-Resistant Properties

It is important to look for water-resistant fabric when you are getting dog boots for your pup. 

Water-resistant boots will prevent your pup’s paws from getting wet during snow or rain. 

The plus point with water-resistant boots is they dry quickly and are more resistant to odors! 

Another tip on getting the perfect hiking booties for dogs is to get a water-resistant boot. 

Are There Any Dog Breeds That Need Booties More Than Others? 

As discussed earlier, booties are needed if you are taking your furry companion for a hike where the weather will be extremely cold or hot they will require booties. 

Besides, if your dog is having any injury on their paws, they will require booties as well. 

Not forgetting elderly Fidos. They need booties more than the younger ones. 

But you might be wondering, are there any specific breeds that need booties more than other breeds? 

Here are some examples of dogs that need booties more than any other breeds, especially during hiking. 

1. Chihuahua 

They are bred in a warm climate country – Mexico. Thus, their paws are very sensitive to harsh winter conditions. 

If you are living in a country with harsh winter conditions and your pet is a Chihuahua, get them booties. 

Booties will protect their paws from the extreme cold weather and make them comfortable. 

2. Bernese Mountain Dogs or Siberian Huskies 

Opposite Chihuahuas, these two dogs are bred in an extremely cold weather country. 

Thus, they are used to ice, snow, rough terrain, and some of the harshest conditions. 

So during hot weather, they will suffer. During this time, you need to get them boots. Booties will protect their paws from hot surfaces. 

Alternative For Hiking Boots – Paw Wax

Fret not! If your dog is not a fan of hiking boots, there are many alternatives in the market. Paw wax is the best alternative to hiking boots. 

Paw Wax

Paw wax is the best option for your furry friend if they are not into hiking boots. 

Paw wax, also known as paw balm or paw ointment, acts as a protective layer that can shield or protect your dog’s paws against hot or cold surfaces.

The plus point of paw wax or balm is that it contains natural healing properties that can moisturize and cure dry and cracked paw pads.

Besides, you won’t need to take the whole village to apply paw wax on your pup. It’s just a simple application that can be done in a blink of an eye. 

My favourite brand is: MUSHER’S SECRET DOG PAW WAX

FAQs On Are Hiking Boots For Dogs Necessary

Do Dogs Really Need Boots For Hiking?

Do dogs need boots? YES! They have a wide range of benefits. 

They are just like human feet, soft and thus easily get hurt, especially during hiking, running, or taking them out during extreme weather. 

On this occasion, boots come in handy as they help to prevent paws from getting cut, burns, or frostbite.

Are Dog Boots Necessary?

If you are wondering, are hiking boots for dogs necessary? They are just like our feet. 

They are soft and thus easily get hurt, especially during hiking, running, or taking them out during extreme weather. 

This is when boots come in handy as they help to prevent paws from getting cut, burns, or frostbite.

At What Temperature Do Dogs Need Boots?

Planning to get dog hiking shoes for your pup but puzzled at what temperature do dogs need boots? 

According to the Pedigree Foundation, it is best to get hiking boots for your pup when temperatures start to fall below 45°F. 

This is because some cold-averse breeds will get uncomfortable and will need protection.

Do Dogs Need Boots For Snow?

Boots will provide extra friction that can prevent slips and falls, which helps to prevent injuries for your dog. 

They also stop debris such as snow and melting salt from accumulating between your dogs’ paw pads, as it can cause hurting cuts and sores.

Please note that not all dogs like wearing boots for winter.

Top 10 Best Dogs Boots

Below are the top 10 best dog boots for you! 

To all dog owners out there who are planning to take their furry friend on a hiking adventure, I hope this article has provided you with much clarity and useful tips on whether hiking boots for dogs are necessary. 

Long story short, it depends on the situation. Most of the time, boots would not be convenient for your dog. 

Presumably, your dog will not need them. Nevertheless, always ensure that they are protected and in good health!

Lastly, I hope you get to create lots of wonderful memories and deep bonds with you and your furry sidekick.

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